After dropping the doubles point for just the third time this year, Wake would turn it around in singles and take five opening sets with most of them coming by comfortable margins. Wake's Petros Chrysochos would tie the match at 1-1 with a routine 6-2 6-2 win at No. 1 and then a few minutes later Skander Mansouri would make it 2-1 with a 6-4, 6-2 win at No. 3.
Georgia's Walker Duncan tied the match at 2-2 with a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 5 but Wake's Alan Gadjiev put the Deacs back in front with a straight set win over Robert Loeb at No. 6. Gadjiev broke Robert Loeb on the no-ad point to go up 5-3 in the first and then he came back from 30/40 down to hold and take the opening set 6-3. In the second set Gadjiev broke on the no-ad point for 2-1 and then he wouldn't face another break point the rest of the match and would serve it out from 40/15 to win 6-3, 6-4.
Georgia's Jan Zielinski had earned a split at No. 5 against Dennis Uspensky but Wake's Borna Gojo had a seemingly commanding 6-3, 4-0 lead at No. 2 against Emil Reinberg. It looked the match would be over in a matter of minutes but Reinberg stepped up his game and took the next five games to take a 5-4 lead. Gojo got his legs back underneath him and held at love for 5-5 and then he broke Reinberg on the no-ad point to take a 6-5 lead. On that no-ad point Reinberg hit a nice serve down the T that Gojo blocked back and then he had an overhead from point blank range that he netted to get broke. Reinberg broke back from 15/40 to force a tiebreak but then he fell behind 4-0. Reinberg got it back on serve at 4-3* but then he netted a forehand to go down 5-3. Reinberg took the next two to tie it at 5-5 but Gojo went up 6-5* with a service winner. Reinberg tied it at 6-6 with the help from the net cord and then he went up 7-6 after Gojo pulled a backhand wide. Reinberg would close out the tiebreak 8-6 after Gojo missed a backhand wide and off to a third set they went.
Meanwhile over at No. 5, Georgia's Jan Zielinski closed out Dennis Uspensky 6-4 in the third after he broke for 3-2 and then held on from there.
Back at No. 2, Reinberg would go up 2-0 in the third after breaking on the no-ad point and then holding on the no-ad point. Gojo was in deep trouble but then Reinberg started to cramp just as Gojo was holding for 2-1. Despite Reinberg's limited mobility he kept holding because Gojo was keeping the ball in the middle of the court which meant Reinberg didn't have to move much to hit it. Reinberg held for 4-2 but then Gojo quickly held at love for 4-3. Reinberg went down 30/40 on his serve but after getting it back to the no-ad point he'd get broke after hitting a backhand long. Gojo held from 40/30 after Reinberg netted a backahand and then Gojo broke at love to win it 6-3, 6-7, 6-4.
Photo Courtesy of Bill Kallenberg (CapturedInAction.com)
#1 Wake Forest 4, #12 Georgia 3
March 17, 2017 at Athens, Ga. (Dan Magill Tennis Complex)
1. #2 Petros Chrysochos (WF) def. #26 Wayne Montgomery (UGA) 6-2, 6-2
2. #76 Borna Gojo (WF) def. #46 Emil Reinberg (UGA) 6-3, 6-7 (6-8), 6-4
3. #5 Skander Mansouri (WF) def. #99 Nathan Ponwith (UGA) 6-4, 6-2
4. Walker Duncan (UGA) def. #37 Christian Seraphim (WF) 6-3, 6-3
5. Jan Zielinski (UGA) def. Dennis Uspensky (WF) 3-6, 6-1, 6-4
6. Alan Gadjiev (WF) def. Robert Loeb (UGA) 6-3, 6-4
1. #30 Jan Zielinski/Robert Loeb (UGA) def. #2 Skander Mansouri/Christian Seraphim (WF) 7-6 (6)
2. #60 Nathan Ponwith/Emil Reinberg (UGA) vs. Borna Gojo/Alan Gadjiev (WF) 6-6 (6-4*) unfinished
3. Wayne Montgomery/Walker Duncan (UGA) def. Petros Chrysochos/Dennis Uspensky (WF) 6-4
Wake Forest 14-1; National ranking #1
Georgia 8-6; National ranking #12
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1); Singles (1,3,4,6,5,2)
Quotes from Georgia's recap
"It was just a heartbreaker today, but credit Wake Forest for showing great resiliency," head coach Manuel Diaz said. "They definitely proved why they are one of the best teams in the country. Emil was cramping there at the end and he showed a lot of heart in his match. But again credit Wake Forest who really played like a veteran team today."
The top-ranked Florida Gators brought a 163-match home court winning streak into Friday's evenings match against No. 6 Georgia but the streak is no more after the Bulldogs rolled to a 4-1 win. Georgia grabbed the early 1-0 lead after taking the doubles point with wins at No. 1 and No. 2 and then the Bulldogs added four first sets in singles. Ellen Perez and Elena Christofi each won 6-2, 6-1 at No. 1 and No. 2 to extend the lead to 3-0 before Florida got on the board with a 6-3, 6-0 win by Josie Kuhlman at No. 4. Georgia's Mariana Gould clinched the match with a 6-2, 7-6(5) win at No. 6 while the other two matches went unfinished with Florida leading on one court and Georgia the other.
It was Florida's first conference lost since losing to Georgia on April 7, 2002.
1. Caroline Brinson/ Ellen Perez, UG d. #15 Brooke Austin/ Kourtney Keegan, UF 7-5
2. #58 Elena Christofi/Kennedy Shaffer, UG d. #11 Anna Danilina/Ingrid Neel, UF 7-5*
3. #36 Josie Kuhlman/ Belinda Woolcock, UF d. #36 Marta Gonzalez/Mariana Gould, UG 6-3
1. #55 Ellen Perez d. #19 Belinda Woolcock, UF 6-2, 6-1
2. Elena Christofi, UG d. #14 Ingrid Neel, UF 6-2, 6-1
3. #22 Anna Danilina, UF vs. #63 Kennedy Shaffer, UG 2-6, 6-3, *1-2 DNF
4. #12 Josie Kuhlman, UF d. #86 Caroline Brinson, UG 6-3, 6-0
5. #125 Brooke Austin, UF vs. Marta Gonzalez, UG 6-1, 6-7 (5), 3-1* DNF
6. Mariana Gould, UG d. #32 Kourtney Keegan, UF 6-2, 7-6 (5)*
Florida 13-1, 3-1 SEC; National ranking #1
“Then in singles, Ellen (Perez) and (Elena) Christofi on No. 1 and No. 2 ran through their opponents to give us three points really quick. The rest of the matches were just battling but Mariana (Gould) found a way to get that match. She had a match point that (Kourtney) Keegan fought off then she finally closed it out in that tiebreaker. It was great tennis, really exciting.”
Postmatch with UF Head Coach Roland Thornqvist via Florida's recap
On the significance of the doubles point:
"It retrospect, it was pretty big. Credit Georgia for coming in here and beating this team – that's a heck of an accomplishment. We did not play particularly confident and that's the one thing that irks me a little bit. Georgia played really, really well. At one and two singles, they were fantastic today. After they won the doubles point, they really looked like they had a lot of wind in their sails. It was a tough day for us."
On some of the Gators being emotionally vocal during their match:
"It's hard to change the mentality of a player when they're playing. This team, up until today, has been a real resilient team, tough. We've been able to turn matches, turn sets when we were down. I just didn't see any of that passion and confidence that we had seem up to this point. That's the disappointing thing and that's why I think it's so quiet in the locker room right now. I told them that the streak is the streak. I care about the streak because it meant so much to so many players who have sacrificed to much to win here. That part is really sacred. In and of itself, (the streak) means very little if we can get better from it. On Sunday, we plan to start a new streak."
"From a mental standpoint, it didn't look we were there like we normally are. Georgia was fantastic in capitalizing. That's hard to do, come in here and believe you can beat this team, which is arguably one of the best teams we've had here in years. It takes a lot of moxie to do that and they played great. They were able to expose some things today and you have to give them credit."
"We made a lot of unforced errors. A ton of them. I can't how many games where we gave away two, sometimes three points. Against a good team, you're going to be punished and we were today.
"I told them in the locker room that I'm glad that this was the team that ended or lost the streak because this team can handle it. This is a team of veterans. This is a team that's very close-knit. Perhaps next year's team that's going to be much younger, won't be as equipped to handle if this streak broke next year. I think this team is galvanized. They are together to the point that there will be very little linger effect from today. In a way, if it was going to happen at some point, this would be the team I would choose to suffer the loss because they will be able to handle it the best."
On bouncing back:
"Losing is part of tennis. We never had a goal at the beginning of the season to go undefeated. We have a goal to be the best we can be in May (for the NCAAs). If we can learn and get better from this, than there is a way we can turn this into a blessing in disguise. Thank goodness we play again on Sunday. I think a lot of those players want to get back out there and get the mulligan. They want to do it again. We'll practice Saturday at 9 a.m. and hopefully, it will be a spirited one and then we'll be ready to tee it up against Tennessee on Sunday."
Texas picked up its second top 25 win of the week after defeating Ivy League powerhouse Columbia on Friday evening in Austin. Columbia struck first by taking the doubles point with wins at No. 2 and No. 3 but Texas fought back in singles and took five first sets. Rodrigo Banzer, Leo Telles, George Goldhoff, and Harrison Scott each won in straight sets with Scott clinching at No. 2.
1 Leonardo Telles/George Goldhoff (UT) vs. No. 20 Victor Pham/Richard Pham (Columbia), 6-6, susp.
2 No. 67 Shawn Hadavi/Jackie Tang (Columbia) def. Colin Markes/Yuya Ito (UT), 7-6 (3)
3 Christopher Grant/Michal Rolski (Columbia) def. Christian Sigsgaard/Julian Zlobinsky (UT), 6-3
1 No. 12 Christian Sigsgaard (UT) vs. No. 72 Shawn Hadavi (Columbia), 6-1, 4-6, susp.
2 No. 70 Harrison Scott (UT) def. No. 91 Victor Pham (Columbia), 6-4, 6-2
3 No. 83 Jackie Tang (Columbia) vs. No. 34 Yuya Ito (UT) 7-5, 4-1, susp.
4 George Goldhoff (UT) def. Alex Keyser (Columbia), 6-2, 6-2
5 No. 108 Leonardo Telles (UT) def. Adam Ambrozy (Columbia), 6-1, 6-2
6 Rodrigo Banzer (UT) def. Timothy Wang (Columbia), 6-0, 6-2
Quotes from Texas head coach Michael Center via Texas's recap
On maintaining momentum after Ohio State win on Wednesday
We talked about it right after the (Ohio State) match. I told them to enjoy the win that night but the next day, it's on to the next one. We're going to be in this situation and if we're going to be a great team, we've got to emotionally put it on the line, come back and do it again and again. If we want to be a conference championship or a national championship team, that is what it takes. I think they met the challenge today. They brought the attitude and a mindset to compete. If we keep that mindset and keep competing like this, then that is all I can ask. We'll find out how good we can be at the very end."
On the play at the Nos. 4, 5 and 6 singles spots
They were awesome. We were so good at the bottom. From the very first game, I think we broke right out of the gate, got on top of them and never let up. It was simply a great job by those guys today.
Where the team is after three straight impressive wins
We've got to improve our doubles still. I'm still not satisfied with our doubles. Our goal is to get nine really competitive spots (between singles and doubles), where we can go out there and get wins at every spot in any moment or any time. We're getting closer to that. Hopefully by April, we'll be there.
All the results from Day 1 of the BNP Paribas Open Collegiate Tennis Challenge are available at this link. All the favorites won but Cal and Oklahoma barely won.
All the results from Days 1 & 2 of the San Diego Spring Break Tournament are here. #25 Oregon will play #30 Tulane in the finals.